The inaugural Constance Award 

In 1985, this woman was made redundant from a job in the insurance world. She used her £2,500 redundancy cheque to found her own firm, which she ran from her Kitchen table in the family home, whilst raising a young family with her husband. She had spotted a gap in the insurance market and set up the business to provide insurance to owners of vintage motorbikes, eventually expanding to cover all kinds of bikes. She is still cheered and welcomed like royalty at any biker event she attends today. 

The Carole Nash Insurance Consultancy was born when Carole was in her 40s needing to fund her household with husband Fred. Her first recruits were women like herself, with young children that needed to work but couldn’t tie themselves the traditional 9-5 working day, so Carole gave them flexible home working. Her family values and treating her staff as an extension lead to a business that grew organically. 

The business also grew because Carole along with Fred would spend time getting to know their customers and appearing at Bike shows both here and abroad. I suspect a story that will resonate with many of you in the audience who are building businesses through sheer hard work. When she sold it in 2006 it had close to quarter of a million customers.

Carole Nash is now known more for being a philanthropist, a music lover and a Manchester City fan. She uses her wealth to help and support our young musical talents and local charities. At the RNCM, her generosity and support is recognised with the Carole Nash Room, she has a room named in her honour at Chetham’s School of Music. She has also supported The Lowry, The Halle, Manchester Cathedral, The Princes Trust, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust and Outward Bound, as well as being a Patron of both the Alderley Edge Music Festival and Bowdon Music Festival. Her philanthropy was recognised by the award of an OBE in 2012, though news of it very nearly didn’t reach her, after Carole at first mistook the On Her Majesty’s Service envelope for a parking ticket. Typical Carole! 

Not bad for a working Mum, made redundant in her 40s.